Friday, March 15, 2013

A solo of works by Aji V.N.

A solo show of drawings by Aji V.N. takes place courtesy Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. With works drawn on loan from the Netherlands and India, it is comprised of a rich selection of his large-format drawings.

The venue is currently hosting his first monographic museum exhibit.  To go with the solo show, the monograph 'Aji V.N. Tekeningen/ Drawings' is also being published, containing an interview and an essay penned by Wilma Sütö, the curator of museum’s modern & present-day art.

A majority of them have been done with charcoal on colored paper. Since 2008, yogis and yoginis appear on drawing paper, full-frontal and life-size, their poses related to those of living statues. They hold our attention with their concentrated gestures and looks, rooted to the spot like guardians of life. Various worlds mingle vibrantly in the drawings of landscapes from diverse continents, forming both recognizable and distant realms, with an enchanting mixture of culture-historic peculiarities.

Born in 1968 in Kallissery in the state of Kerala, he has been staying in Rotterdam for over a decade. His drawings have found a place in several prestigious museums and private collections across the globe. In 2010, the artist was nominated for the prestigious Dolf Henkes Prize. The institution has already displayed his artworks in a couple of group exhibition previously. In 2008, it bought a drawing by him, almost permanently on view in the collection presentations held since then. On it, a flock of vultures are depicted gathering around weaponry, to evoke ideas of cleaning up after the battle is over.

Between 2005 and 2009, he created various watercolors and drawings of oceans and rivers. The artist himself has gradually vanished from the images, leaving space for his public: those standing in front of the meters’ high drawings getting pulled in, as is the case with a seascape recently purchased by the museum. Looking out over the ocean, the surf spatters up right before our feet, and before we are aware of it, we get simply mesmerized by the water.

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